IDAHO FALLS, Idaho
After being closed for more than two years, the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple will welcome visitors to tour its newly renovated interior during its public open house beginning Saturday, April 22.
Since its closure on Monday, March 16, 2015, the Idaho Falls temple has undergone extensive renovations, including an upgrade of its mechanical and electrical systems and the restoration of its original murals, which were painted by leading LDS artists in the 1930s and 40s.
With its brilliant white exterior and location on the banks of the Snake River, the Idaho Falls temple stands as a focal point in the area. In a news release from Mormon Newsroom, local resident Kevin Call called the temple “a monument on the river, a beautiful place.”
Mormon settlers first arrived in the Upper Snake River Valley in 1879. Plans to build a temple in the area were first announced in March 1937. After its dedication on Sept. 23, 1945, by President George Albert Smith, the temple — situated just above the falls for which the city is named — became the first temple in Idaho and the Church’s 8th temple. The temple followed the dedication of the Mesa Arizona Temple in 1927, some 18 years prior.
In 1960, a visitors’ center was completed and later remodeled, and a statue of the angel Moroni was added to the temple’s iconic tower steeple in 1983.
Since its completion, three more temples have been dedicated in Idaho, including the Twin Falls Idaho Temple, Boise Idaho Temple and Rexburg Idaho Temple. The Meridian Idaho Temple is scheduled to be dedicated on Nov. 19, 2017. President Thomas S. Monson also announced plans during general conference earlier this month to build a temple in nearby Pocatello.
In the original dedicatory prayer of the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, President Smith asked the Lord to accept the edifice as a “freewill offering of His children” and expressed gratitude that “we have been permitted to rear this Temple on this beautiful spot upon the bank of one of Thy majestic rivers, the waters of which have made it possible for Thy faithful Saints residing here to subdue the land and establish delightful homes.”
Before its closure, the Idaho Falls temple served members in about 60 stakes throughout eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. It will be rededicated on Sunday, June 4, 2017. All three of the dedicatory sessions will be broadcast to all stakes in Idaho. On Saturday, June 3, youth from throughout the temple district will present a cultural celebration.
The open house will welcome visitors for tours through Saturday, May 20, excluding Sundays. For reservations, visit www.templeopenhouse.lds.org.